How China’s biggest audio platform funded one man’s frat boy podcaster dreams.

Imagine you’re a podcaster who’s been recording your show at UFABET Radio, a venerable, if not unglamorous spot. One day, you’re instead offered the chance to start recording in a Beverly Hills home.


When Steele walked into the HiStudios hype house for the first time, he found an oasis, one you wouldn’t expect to come with the territory of being a podcaster. But here, alongside two studios equipped with hardware and support staff, was a vast view of Los Angeles.

“It was the professional element,” Steele says when asked why he chose to work with HiStudios, a company spun out of the buzzy podcasting startup Himalaya. “Basically, me having shows that are on the verge of being something great, they had a purpose there. It was a nice place.”

He envisioned a global podcast network with influencers and athletes and shows that would become international hits. He name-dropped Mike Tyson, Penny Hardaway, and Zane and Heath, and he said the company had a deal with Studio71, which works with top YouTubers like Marques Brownlee.

Vincer and his team would help launch their shows not just in the US, but in China, too.

It was a bold ambition, but everyone in the podcast space pitches something. So after writing about HiStudios that summer, I didn’t hear or think much about them again. That is, until things started falling apart.

“I don’t want to have nothing to do with this dude no more,” Steele says about Vincer now. “It’s real easy to get caught up in the allure of that house. He may have it clean one day, and next thing you know, you sign the bullshit contract with some dude, and you get took.”